snopes.com  

Go Back   snopes.com > Non-UL Chat > Police Blotter

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 16 July 2017, 08:22 PM
crocoduck_hunter's Avatar
crocoduck_hunter crocoduck_hunter is offline
 
Join Date: 27 May 2009
Location: Roseburg, OR
Posts: 11,075
Default Kidnapping and the victim's death

I'm in a little debate at the moment and I wanted to ask here since there are people with greater familiarity with the US legal system.

Scenario: a character in a story has become a vigilante and murders people she has deemed to have gotten away with their crimes. She drugs and kidnaps someone, intending to kill him but then finds new evidence that exonerates him. In the meantime, he wakes up and, disoriented from being drugged, tries to fight her which results in his death because of the location they're in (he falls off a railing and drowns).

So this has caused a bit of a debate over what the vigilante's culpability in the other character's death was: was it murder or not?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 16 July 2017, 09:05 PM
Beachlife!'s Avatar
Beachlife! Beachlife! is offline
 
Join Date: 22 June 2001
Location: Lansing, MI
Posts: 27,885
Default

The kidnapping is a felony, if a death happens while you are committing a felony, its considered murder.

ETA: Aside from the legalities, its still murder, IMO.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 16 July 2017, 09:10 PM
ASL's Avatar
ASL ASL is offline
 
Join Date: 04 July 2003
Location: Norfolk, VA
Posts: 5,080
Ponder

Q: If a bank security guard pulls a gun on a robber who didn't want to kill anyone and who actually just decided they were going to return the money right before the guard pulled the gun, is it self-defense if the robber shoots the guard?

A: Only if you're a sovereign citizen.

Of course felony murder laws vary (or may be absent) by jurisdiction, so I wouldn't hang my hat on that for the OP (that said, IANAL, but I'd wager it's murder in every jurisdiction). After all: they're the one who drugged the victim, right? Even if it was just the disorientation from the drugs that caused the fall, not because they were pushed by the murderer.

Last edited by ASL; 16 July 2017 at 09:16 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 16 July 2017, 09:33 PM
crocoduck_hunter's Avatar
crocoduck_hunter crocoduck_hunter is offline
 
Join Date: 27 May 2009
Location: Roseburg, OR
Posts: 11,075
Default

It's an argument over a fictional story so there really isn't a jurisdiction to check. But that's pretty much what I thought was going to be the case.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 17 July 2017, 12:15 AM
jimmy101_again jimmy101_again is offline
 
Join Date: 29 December 2005
Location: Greenwood, IN
Posts: 6,435
Default

Technically it isn't a kidnapping since there wasn't any intent to extort money. I think something like illegal confinement is correct.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 17 July 2017, 12:44 AM
Beachlife!'s Avatar
Beachlife! Beachlife! is offline
 
Join Date: 22 June 2001
Location: Lansing, MI
Posts: 27,885
Default

I do not think extortion is necessarily part of the definition of kidnapping.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 17 July 2017, 01:55 AM
Gutter Monkey's Avatar
Gutter Monkey Gutter Monkey is offline
 
Join Date: 13 December 2010
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 3,386
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by crocoduck_hunter View Post
was it murder or not?
According to who? Are we talking in the legal sense? Because in that case it would be "the highest charge that the DA's office think they can make stick" which may or may not be murder depending on a whole bunch of other factors. It might end up being manslaughter or some lesser crime if they don't feel they could make a murder charge stick, or whether they offer a plea bargain, etc etc..
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 17 July 2017, 03:11 AM
ganzfeld's Avatar
ganzfeld ganzfeld is offline
 
Join Date: 05 September 2005
Location: Kyoto, Japan
Posts: 22,774
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy101_again View Post
Technically it isn't a kidnapping since there wasn't any intent to extort money. I think something like illegal confinement is correct.
Depends on the law but not really. Even those laws that require some nefarious purpose almost always include various ones, such plans to harm the person as in this case, or any kind of other crime, not only extortion.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 17 July 2017, 03:44 AM
erwins's Avatar
erwins erwins is offline
 
Join Date: 04 April 2006
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 11,265
Default

The basics of kidnapping at common law--which is what most US jurisdictions have as a jumping off point, at least, are unlawful asportation and confinement against the person's will.

And yes, in many if not most US jurisdictions the OP scenario would be felony murder. There's a chance it could fit an intentional murder charge, perhaps, depending on the exact law. If the cause of the victim's death was the drugging, and she intended to kill him when she drugged him, I'm not entirely sure that the fact that she did not intend for that to be the means of killing him would matter. (And of course this assumes that there would be a way to reliably know what actually happened and what was in her mind, when.)

But, if I shoot someone with the intent to wound them enough that I can strangle them slowly, and I miss and kill them with the bullet, why wouldn't that be intentional murder?
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 17 July 2017, 05:34 AM
GenYus234's Avatar
GenYus234 GenYus234 is offline
 
Join Date: 02 August 2005
Location: Mesa, AZ
Posts: 23,975
Default

Another point to consider: In both the OP scenario and erwin's shooting one, the only evidence that the murder that happened was not deliberate would be the testimony of the person who has committed at least one felony and is on trial for murder. Even if the law recognized a difference, convinving a jury of the change of heart would be well nigh impossible.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 17 July 2017, 02:50 PM
Seaboe Muffinchucker's Avatar
Seaboe Muffinchucker Seaboe Muffinchucker is offline
 
Join Date: 30 June 2005
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 17,233
Glasses

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy101_again View Post
Technically it isn't a kidnapping since there wasn't any intent to extort money..
Technically, it is kidnapping, because the person was detained and carried away against his or her will.

Seaboe
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 17 July 2017, 04:49 PM
UEL's Avatar
UEL UEL is offline
 
Join Date: 01 August 2004
Location: Ottawa/Fredericton, Canada
Posts: 8,484
Baseball

I suppose it depends upon the jurisdiction for legal definitions.

I know someone who was kidnapped by the common definition, but because no ransom was sought, the charge was "Forcible Confinement".

Now, this is a data point of one. And I am not aware of the legal wranglings around the situation (and no little of the actual situation). It may be that this was a charge that would stick, or this was an easy conviction etc.

On the other hand, it might be the legal terminology for the crime of kidnapping. If I had gone to law school, I might know.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 17 July 2017, 07:30 PM
erwins's Avatar
erwins erwins is offline
 
Join Date: 04 April 2006
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 11,265
Default

Can you reveal the jurisdiction? There are multiple reasons I can think of that an apparent kidnapping might result in a conviction for something called forcible confinement. I'm kind of curious about which one(s) might apply. But I understand if you don't want to give specifics.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 17 July 2017, 09:11 PM
jimmy101_again jimmy101_again is offline
 
Join Date: 29 December 2005
Location: Greenwood, IN
Posts: 6,435
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaboe Muffinchucker View Post
Technically, it is kidnapping, because the person was detained and carried away against his or her will.

Seaboe
From your link;
Quote:
Generally, kidnapping occurs when a person, without lawful authority, physically asports (i.e., moves) another person without that other person's consent, with the intent to use the abduction in connection with some other nefarious objective. Under the Model Penal Code (a set of exemplary criminal rules fashioned by the American Law Institute), kidnapping occurs when any person is unlawfully and non-consensually asported and held for certain purposes. These purposes include gaining a ransom or reward; facilitating the commission of a felony or a flight after the commission of a felony; terrorizing or inflicting bodily injury on the victim or a third person; and interfering with a governmental or political function (Model Penal Code 212.1).
The other qualifications are pretty much variants on ransom/reward in that they involve the kidnapper obtaining something other than just the person abducted.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 17 July 2017, 09:44 PM
Darth Credence's Avatar
Darth Credence Darth Credence is offline
 
Join Date: 28 October 2005
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Posts: 3,109
Default

One of the other qualifications in that link is:
Quote:
terrorizing or inflicting bodily injury on the victim or a third person.
That isn't obtaining anything (except maybe satisfaction), and pretty much fits what the OP had. It does not have to involve a variant on ransom/reward. Taking someone to a shack in the woods to keep them tied up and assault them would still be kidnapping.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 17 July 2017, 11:00 PM
GenYus234's Avatar
GenYus234 GenYus234 is offline
 
Join Date: 02 August 2005
Location: Mesa, AZ
Posts: 23,975
Default

Also in the link, "with the intent to use the abduction in connection with some other nefarious objective." Pretty sure "murder as vigilante justice" would be considered a nefarious objective.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 18 July 2017, 02:28 PM
Seaboe Muffinchucker's Avatar
Seaboe Muffinchucker Seaboe Muffinchucker is offline
 
Join Date: 30 June 2005
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 17,233
Glasses

People, you can be kidnapped without ever leaving the room you're in. All it takes is someone with a gun (or a knife, or simply the will and ability to beat you to death) who won't let you leave. It happens. Google "kidnapping without leaving the room."

I have read cases (I will see if I can find one) where nothing was demanded; the victim was simply terrorized and prevented from leaving. No demands for money or anything else were made by the captor.

Seaboe
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 18 July 2017, 02:58 PM
UEL's Avatar
UEL UEL is offline
 
Join Date: 01 August 2004
Location: Ottawa/Fredericton, Canada
Posts: 8,484
Baseball

Quote:
Originally Posted by erwins View Post
Can you reveal the jurisdiction?
Canada. My acquaintance was kidnapped in Canada.

I know each of the states has its own criminal code, and there is a federal one too. I can't speak to any of that.

In fact, I am already well out of my depth for Canada too. Assault, seen lots of it. Can articulate well about it. Not so for kidnapping.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 18 July 2017, 03:08 PM
erwins's Avatar
erwins erwins is offline
 
Join Date: 04 April 2006
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 11,265
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaboe Muffinchucker View Post
People, you can be kidnapped without ever leaving the room you're in. All it takes is someone with a gun (or a knife, or simply the will and ability to beat you to death) who won't let you leave. It happens. Google "kidnapping without leaving the room."
That definitely depends on the jurisdiction. In some, asportation is a required element. Holding a person against their will where you found them is a different crime.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 18 July 2017, 03:50 PM
Seaboe Muffinchucker's Avatar
Seaboe Muffinchucker Seaboe Muffinchucker is offline
 
Join Date: 30 June 2005
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 17,233
Glasses

I need to stay out of this thread. Sorry.

Yes, erwins, it does. The case I found was (I believe) in England.

Seaboe
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Cops: Suspected kidnapping victim passed note asking for help A Turtle Named Mack Police Blotter 1 27 May 2015 09:06 PM
Kidnapping victim's abductors threatened to dismember him in Atlanta, authorities say A Turtle Named Mack Police Blotter 1 11 April 2014 02:23 PM
JFK death conspiracy claims another victim snopes Spook Central 3 14 October 2012 05:46 PM
Kidnapping statistics snopes Crime 21 29 August 2009 04:14 PM
Double Disney kidnapping snopes Crime 2 29 April 2009 06:22 AM


All times are GMT. The time now is 12:47 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.